Name dropping

A to Z Challenge, The Caretaker of Imagination

For the April A-Z blogging challenge, I’ll be blogging about my latest release, The Caretaker of Imagination.

There are several characters in this story who are named after people in my life, or little nods to people who inspire me. Of course, this doesn’t mean the character is anything like the person, it’s just my little reference!

Cuthbert – This is my grandad’s name, on my dad’s side. He lived with us growing up, and was really special to me. He passed away a couple of years ago, and I still miss him dearly. He actually told me the story about the tiger (which you can read in chapter 6) and I believed until I was NINE years old – talk about having a good imagination! (Or being extremely gullible. One of the two).
Cynthia – This was my grandad’s wife – my grandma. I’d never met her, as she died before I was born. I’m told she was elegant and proper, so I took those traits out and exaggerated them a bit (or a lot).
John – I wanted the main character to have a fairly ordinary name, so that really, he could be anyone. Some of you know I’m an artist as well, and if you’ve seen my art you’ll know I do silhouettes a lot. I do these for the same reason – it means anyone can transpose themselves into the work and become a part of it. John is also the name of a family friend of ours, who I had a conversation with about being a child again, and sparked this story.
Theo – The cat in this story is named after a child I met while working at a school holiday programme. He had an interesting view on the world, and was quite insightful.
???Myrtle – I used to have a little green car, that one of my friend’s nicknamed Myrtle. The name stuck, and I loved that little car – even though it was sometimes hard to get her up a hill! I ended up having to get rid of her, but gave her the chance to live on in my story.
Lucy – This is a little nod to one of my favourite series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Lucy is a gorgeous character full of imagination and love, and is the basis for my character as well.
Carroll – At a point when I felt The Caretaker of Imagination was too far from a normal narrative structure, I read Alice in Wonderland. This comforted me, as it’s such a nonsensical story, but it still works. John’s last name is inspired by the author, Lewis Carroll.

If you’re interested in the book, you can purchase it from one of the links below:




Jess the Pirate

A to Z Challenge, Illustration, The Caretaker of Imagination

Jess is one character who is actually based on someone I know. The real Jess is a friend of mine who is in the Royal New Zealand Navy, so a pirate character for her is perfect! She’s intellligent, pretty (like Jess the pirate) and has just the right amount of attitude… I’m not sure if she has obsession with cupcakes, though.


Jess the pirate definitely has an obsession with cupcakes. So much so, that in the third book (which I’m drafting now) she and Simon travel the world to find exotic new recipes so they can open their very own bakery!